|unrelated photo of happiness :)|
All the money raised will go to breast cancer research.
The goal: Raise $3,500 by race day on November 4th.
Let's get there!
Thank you to everyone who has donated.
It's been a while since I wrote an update about my marathon training. Read my first post to get caught up. I'm already up to 16 miles on my long runs! The training has been really hard, but running for a charity has given me so much perspective. Something I didn't always have . . .
My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time at the beginning of my senior year in high school. I remember having mix feelings of hope and mystery. Did they catch it early enough? Would she just have to take a few pills? Would she lose her hair this time? It had been 8 years since she last had cancer. What was going to happen to her this time? To our family? Everything is going to be fine, right?
At the time, I was the secretary of my senior class and started to slack off on my duties. The teacher in charge of the student government pulled me into her office shortly after Christmas break. I felt so guilty. I apologized for missing meetings and told her I was going to do better.
She stopped me and said, "Whoa, whoa. Don't worry about it. You're doing fine. Is everything ok with your mother? And those missed meetings, oh please. Just try your best."
I was shocked that she was being so understanding. She wasn't the warm and fuzzy type. And plus I thought I had things to do! The senior class voted for me to take notes during the meetings. To come up with ideas for Prom! The whole system wouldn't work without a secretary!
But it was the way she was looking at me. Waiting for me to say something. I knew then my mother's illness was more serious than I thought. It's not that my advisor knew more about my mom's cancer than I did, but she had perspective. Something most people lack at 18 years-old. I know I did.
And so each month went by. My mother had chemo. She lost her hair. Her hospital stays started getting longer. I got special permission to visited her in the hospital on my lunch period. Sometimes I would crawl in her bed and snuggle up to her. I must have looked ridiculous, but I missed her too much to care. After a while she would whisper, "It kind-of hurts" and I would feel bad. Then I'd crawl out, tell her I love her, hug her (again! ouch) and drive back to school.
I had English, then art. It's amazing I even went back each day. But, again, it's perspective. I didn't realize running for the hills was an option. No one would blame me if I did, really, but I kept doing everything as normal as possible. I went to Prom, went to Disney World for Grad Night, and finally graduated.
My mom wasn't able to watch me walk across the stage on graduation day. She was pretty sick by that point and the doctors didn't want her to leave the hospital. Seeing this old picture of me from that day still shocks me. A smile? Really? But I remember being happy. To be with friends and family. To finish high school. To move on.
|with my friend Eric|
She never got to see me fly away to college. Hear my first love story with Rob. Watch me get married. Meet my kids and cheer me on through motherhood. She was such a great cheerleader. The way she waved her arms in the air, wobbled her knees, and hollered is ingrained in my memory. She wasn't one to hold back her emotions, especially when she was happy for someone else. I would have loved to see her cheering me on during this marathon. She cracked me up.
Which brings me back to perspective. These past few months of training, I've gained perspective on lots of things. For one, it's ok to run for the hills when life gets tough. Literally run for the hills. Either Harlem Hill or Cat Hill in Central Park will do. Sometimes both. It's done great things for me.
But more importantly, I've learned that no one should miss out on their kid's major milestones. Cancer took that away from my mother and so many other parents. We need a cure! I am so excited to help fund the research to find one. Please join me by donating here!
More about Fred's Team:
100% of the funds raised by Fred's Team go to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the nation's preeminent center for research and treatment devoted exclusively to cancer, and at least 80 percent of the total supports pioneering research.
I specifically choose to raise money for breast cancer.
When you make an online gift, you will receive an e-mail confirmation and tax acknowledgment as soon as your transaction is complete. For all offline gifts, you will receive a written tax acknowledgment in the mail.
More FAQ's here. Like who's this Fred guy?!
photo credit: Britney Ericksen